Updated: 09 June 2023

What Does Dependent Mean?

A dependent is a child, young person, or another person (as provided by tax law) under the financial care of a parent, or other adult, who looks after the individual. People who are responsible for dependents can qualify for credits and or exemptions for tax purposes. A dependent must meet certain criteria in order to be officially claimed as such by a tax payer. In terms of insurance, parents' or legal guardians' health coverage often extends to dependents.

Insuranceopedia Explains Dependent

An example of a dependent would be a child of a married couple. However, despite the fact that married couples often have their own children as dependents, they may also have another person who is a dependent, too. In fact, a married couple may be financially responsible for a niece or a nephew, or they may have a foster child. They may meet qualifications to claim another adult as a dependent. To qualify as a dependent, the person must live in the same residence as the tax payer. The tax payer must also pay for more than half of that person's expenses. Health insurance policies may stipulate other requirements for coverage or extend coverage in the case of college students living away from home.

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